Our high-flying tenor, Phil Merkel, is a retired Air Force pilot who is comfortable singing all the "high" notes in our quartet. As Phil puts it, "It takes a real man to sing like a girl."
Our low notes, the foundation of any barbershop quartet, come from Ray LaTurno, a retired Naval Aviator. Although he flew above the waves and not below them, singing low notes comes naturally for him. So, "anchors away" for this quartet's "anchor!"
It is only logical that the lead in this quartet would be someone who spent time in the Marine Corps. Cliff Shoemaker sings the melody most of the time, "leading" the way. While he didn't "retire" from the Marines, he is quick to remind us that "once a Marine, always a Marine." Three branches down, and two to go?
You might wonder how a quartet with only four members could possibly represent all five branches of the military. Leave it to our baritone (bari), Don Johnson, to find a way. Don began in the Army before transferring to and retiring from the Coast Guard. There you have it. All five branches represented when we sing the Armed Forces Medley. As the bari, Don adds the spice that makes our genre of music so unique. "Scissoring with the lead, this 4th part allows us to make sure we sing lots of those barbershop 7th chords.